Tuesday, June 30, 2009

my dogidogs- (6) Bonnie (Tyler)

This will be the last entry in this series. And this is about a very special dog. Her name is Bonnie. I also call her Tyler. That's because she has a very husky voice similar to that of her namesake. Bonnie has been with us for only a few months now. A man, who introduced himself as the dog's owner, was selling this dog for two thousand pesos since according to him, he had to pay the machine shop, where Ding was at the time, for some work he had asked to be done. The original buyer did not come as agreed. Ding got interested because it was a lovely dog- a siberian husky with brown and blue eyes. He has not seen any other dog with two different colors of the eyes. Ding further interrogated the man, and later, convinced that he was the real owner, he haggled and got the dog for one-five.

We are still in the process of discovering the traits of Bonnie but what struck us was her gentle ways despite her enormous size. She was the kindest big dog i've ever seen. ( Oh, I suddenly remember Rotty, our dalmatian who died three years ago. He was also very big and very kind). Bonnie, though, refuses to be touched in the head. We surmised that where she came from, she was never considered a pet, just a guard dog. She is not in good terms with Bugaki but her constant companion is Purlak. Both of them stay outside in the laundry area and goes to and from the back garden. They seldom go inside the house. that is not their territory.

The very little Bitoy always barks at Bonnie whenever he sees her. But to date, there has never been any major war between the outsiders and the insiders.

my dogidogs-(5) Purlak

Purlak is an all-black aspin. She is a daughter of Lupin, a descendant of my dear Puti. We gave Lupin to my sis-in-law and it was in their place where Purlak was born. She was meant to be raised as a guard dog in a bodega which we are renting. Somehow, we learned to like her despite her being difficult. She has bitten at least two neighbors who came into our house. One was a little girl who asked for some research materials from my daughter and the other is our electrician. Both times, I had to shoulder the expenses for their vaccinations.

Purlak had the habit of biting into the hem of my housedress whenever she sees me. She wont let go of me so that wherever in the house I'm going, she goes with me, with her teeth glued to my housedress. She considers it her playtime with me. Because of that, I and Purlak have a special bond. Now, she listens to me whenever I tell her to be still. Despite her being a difficult dog, Purlak loves to bathe. And like the rest of my dogidogs, she likes the sound of her name being sung to the tune of the happy birthday song. No other words for the lyrics except her name.

Her crib is the old billiard table that we placed outside- near the very dirty kitchen and the laundry area. She loves it there and seldom enters the house. But the trouble is -the billiard cloth has to be replaced again and again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

my dogidogs- (4) bitoy

in mid-2008, we were in grief due to a very difficult trial that befell our family. that very sad episode in our life does not deserve a post in this blog. many people not worth mentioning are involved, hence. it is best to just pray that the sad memories will soon be forgotten. As someone said wisely, "Like wild violets, some memories are better oft left untouched." However, in the midst of the said trial came a very beautiful, loveable creature- a small, long, wiry haired dachshund we called Bitoy.

Of all our dogs, only Bitoy came with a price. By normal standards, he was cheap- only Php3,000.00. But when I first saw him, I thought, how could my children have parted with their 3thou in exchange of this very little creature that doesn't know how to bark? And his hair- yuck! Little did I know that this little doggie would bring gigantic joy in our life. Bitoy, like Kotong is very makiya. I was so impatient waiting for him to grow up. Today, a year later, he is still very small. But he is so huggable and cuddly.

Bitoy is so afraid of Kotong, but he is best friends with Chuchay. While i'm busy in the kitchen, I would hear the two of them playing like children. Perhaps that's the greatest joy I derive from having them around- in the absence of my children, when I have no one with me at home, Chu, Bitoy, Kotong and Gaki and the two other dogs that i will introduce later, keep me company. And I feel safe and secure having them around.

the true, the good and the beautiful

for those who are following this blog, you might have noticed that i dwelt on very positive matters in my early posts. as much as possible, i want this to be a very positive blog- no issues, no politics, no badmouthing, etc, etc.
so just in case you find this boring, i really can't do anything about it cause this is what it will be forever.

my dogidogs- (3) chuchay

Among God's many gifts to my family, Chuchay is one of the best. My dogness, she thinks she is human. Because of the joy that she gives to each one of us, i once told her, " Wag kang mamamatay. Pag namatay ka, papatayin kita!" He he he!

Chuchay was a gift from Ding's best friend, Boots. She was actually a "pinagpilian" among the puppies born in September, 2007 to a dachshund mom and a mestisong dachshund dad. She is a 97% dachshund, according to Ding's computation. I really did not bother asking how he arrived at such conclusion. We got her from Boots' house right after I had a check-up in the hospital in November, 2007. I am convinced that I got well because of Chuchay. We named her after Gladys Guevarra's character in Eat Bulaga. It fits her so well since she is as lively and lovable as Gladys' Chuchay. In the beginning, her ears are so much bigger than her face. But now she is as normal as any dachshund is except that she has grown so big (15 kgs to date) it is nearly impossible for her to get pregnant.

At night, Chuchay and the other dachshund, Bitoy, stays in either Tim's or Nad's room. But when either of them sense that we are awake, they force their way into our room. At first, they sleep on the floor. Before dawn, they are either on Ding's side or on my side of the bed or in between us. Di ba sabi ko nga, she thinks she's human?

I don't know what it is with Chuchay, but just the sight of her gives me overflowing joy. Hindi kaya ako dachshund in my previous life?

my dogidogs- (2) kotong

his given name is cotton. he came into our family one day after we buried puti. he was a cross between an aspin and a japanese spitz. cotton was really like a lump of white, soft cotton when he was still small. at first, there was no difficulty giving him a bath. but later, when he grew bigger, giving him a bath became an agony for us. his white, cottony hair has become dirty white, hence, we baptized him with a new name- kotong.

kotong is a difficult dog to handle. he was the perfect guard dog, though. no one can enter our gate without him barking to his heart's content. that's why when we have visitors, we lock him up in one of the rooms ( my kids wont hear of a dog house. they have to be with us all day. at night, though, gaki and kotong stand guard outside on the porch). despite his being difficult, kotong is very "makiya" a term for someone who always wants to be near someone else. since i am home most of the time, kotong was so "makiya" with me. he obeys me especially when i get angry with him. that is why despite his dirty white hair today, i still find ways to caress him on the head so he'll know he is loved.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

my dogidogs- ( 1) bugaki

i will start this series with the oldest of my six dogs- bugaki.

i never liked dogs before. my children were the ones who taught me to love and to take care of them. when we first set up home in agnaya in 1997, we figured we needed at least two dogs because we all leave the house on week-days. so we bought two three-month old aspins ( asong pinoy) at the malolos public market one sunday. one we named puti ( a very kind and obedient dog. she died in 2006), the other we called mocha, but he died soon after we brought him home. puti bore many puppies- one of them is bugak. she was so much like a very precocious child who did nothing but follow me around. because of that she earned the name bugak. she has so many nicknames like me. depending on the circumstances, she is called bugaki, gaki, bugingging, buging, etc, etc. in her prime, gaki was so strong and yet so gentle with us, specially my children. she gave us no headaches. she loves to eat as much as she loves to bathe. unfortunately for her, she became blind several years ago. she is 11 human years old now, but i don't know how to ler her go when her time is up.
in the picture above, the white dog with a black patch is puti. the brown one in a very scandalous pose is bugaki.

Monday, June 15, 2009

we're 33

“In a manual of marriage, I read how to, when and why.
Then I met you, and I threw away the book”.

Thus summarizes my love affair with Ding, my husband. I got that quotation from the Expressweek magazine sometime in the first half of 1976. By June 20, 1976, I became Mrs. Rosalina Ferrer Inocencio.

This year we’re 33. And I am rejoicing. I hope my Ding does too.

Among the many celebrations within a year, our wedding anniversary is big deal for me. Trite as it may sound, but Ding completes me. Back when all I felt was emptiness in my life, God gave me the answer to my prayers-Ding.

What makes celebrating our wedding anniversary a thrilling experience is the fact that our life together is a miracle in progress. How we lasted this long and this strong can only be because of God’s overflowing love. Two very different people from two very different backgrounds spell disaster. We are as different as night and day, hot and cold, north and south, black and white.

I have always described the two of us this way- I am a woman of letters, Ding is a man of numbers.

Still, we reached this far and we’re still moving. That calls for a celebration!

And we do. We celebrate no matter what. We may have different ideas (Ding loathes hosting parties, I am a natural at entertaining guests), but somehow we reach a decision without declaring a war.

In the early years when our resources were allotted mainly for the kids' education and our household needs, our anniversary celebrations were confined mainly to a movie date and then a bowl of Ma Mon Luk mami with special siopao later.

It actually depends on both our moods, though. When we feel like just staying home, I just do some home cooking. I am a kitchen lady, so it’s not a problem.

Perhaps the most memorable celebration we ever had was during our 30th year in 2006. Our kids booked us on an overnight stay at the Manila Diamond Hotel on the exact day of our anniversary. It was only near perfect cause there were a couple of distractions. First, it was the NBA finals that day (Ding is an NBA fanatic so he was glued to the TV set). Second, a client has been pestering Ding with calls. One thing we have in common is that we enjoy the same kind of music, so on the night of 06/20/06, we left our hotel room and headed to the Baywalk area where bands are playing and promenaders can watch for free. Isn’t God really good?

On July 1, 2006, as an extension of our celebration, we flew to Hongkong for a four-day visit. I failed to do some research before booking our flight. I didn’t realize it was summer in HK that time. It was scorching hot but what right do I have to complain? I may not have done what most women do in HK (like shopping to the max), but it was one episode in my life that I will forever cherish. Someday, I’d like to go back there, but this time with my daughter who is an excellent shopper.

The year 2008 was what Queen Elizabeth calls “annus horribilis” or horrible year for my family. We were eyeing Macau last year but God had other plans for us. With His guidance and infinite goodness, we managed to rise up from a crippling fall. We were in the midst of that tragedy so we were adamant to celebrate our anniversary. Nevertheless, we prepared a simple dinner for our very good friends who have not forsaken us during those dark days.

Five days from now, we will be celebrating our 33rd. My son Popoy sent word that he is sending a very special gift for us and for his Tay ( it’s Father’s Day on Sunday). I’m sure I will get my customary bouquet from Timmy. We have not made plans, actually. So, I, particularly, am playing it by ear.

We can perhaps hear mass at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Makati, then proceed to Greenbelt or at the Quiapo Church and proceed to one of the two existing Ma Mon Luk outlets in Quezon Ave. Wherever. Doesn’t matter now. We’re ecstatic and exultant, after all, we’re 33 and still counting.

Photos 1 & 2 are taken at HK Intl Airport; 3 & 5 at the Avenue of the Stars, Kowloon, 4 & 6 at the gates of HK Disneyland and 7 & 8 at the Manila Diamond Hotel.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

ded na si lolo

i just watched ded na si lolo with tim, nad, edith, igo, cj and pao. i have long wanted to bring them to the movies with a little snack afterwards. this afternoon, i finally was able to do what has been planned long ago. the short outing was such an enjoyable experience mainly because of the movie itself. it was enlightening and relaxing at the same time. how a week-long lamay was made into a very good movie with very good actors in a very familiar plot deserves the accolade of the movie going public.

i think i should do this more often, i mean going out with family (kids, in-laws, nieces and nephews), and patronizing the works of the country's fine, but underrated, actors. to cap the day, we all had another laugh at the movie's wackiest scenes over burger, soda and french fries. now, that's what i call shallow joy ( as in mababaw na kaligayahan)!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


it's a rainy thursday morning. the rains carry with it many apprehensions. will it rain on the 13th, a big day for St. Anthony and our elem group? will i be be able to finish two reports to be submitted in court on the 9th? how is my son doing in dubai? poy's room needed a lot of cleaning-it's my halfway room( hehehe!); all the dogs are inside the house due to the rains, and what a mess they've created; there's nothing in the ref; the laundry gets filed up, etc, etc, etc.

there's only one answer to all these- focus! prioritize and then focus on what should be done first. i hope i can do it. it's raining rains and toyo around!


i've been invited to speak before specific audiences in the past. the shortest speech i have given is reproduced above. the longest will be published later on. it's currently missing in my files but it's about gender sensitivity which i delivered on women's day celeb in march 07. below is the complete text of my shortest speech:

Sister Directress, Mrs. Bondad, fellow teachers, parents and students, good afternoon.

I just saw a 1994 Warner Bros. film entitled 'With Honors'. It is a story of four roommates in a Harvard University dorm, one of whom is so motivated with honors and so, he prepared a lot for it. But luck was not with him because he lost his only copy of his thesis to a man, an ex-sailor, a bum who promised to return each page only if each of his demands is met. And there were 80 pages in all. In his association with this man who had nothing at all, no money, no home, no family, no friends, he slowly but painstakingly learned the lessons that anyone can only learn by heart- like caring for others, like seeking and finding what is beautiful in all people and in all things, like filling the hearts with love and warmth and compassion. In the end, Harvard, as he was called by Joe Pesci's character in the film, did not even get a cum laude, but he has found joy in living and peace within himself.

Was he a success? Yes, he was. In many ways he was. An honor's card is not an end. It is a means to an end. In its absence, a person may still be successful, but of course, when it is on hand, nothing should go wrong. You may strive to bind an album of honor's cards or collect a handful of medals. That's fine. But then, never forget the lessons learned by Harvard, the lessons taught by the heart because only then, can you truly deserve to be conferred the title- With Honors.

My warmest congratulations to all of you!

Thank you very much and good day.

Mrs. Rosalina F. Inocencio
- on the occasion of the
distribution of honor's
cards, Nov. 14, 1996, 4:00 pm
SJB Auditorium

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


in my mid-40's, i developed hypertension. that's because i have no sister.

let me explain that first. i actually have two sisters. connie, the youngest from my parents' union, died of leukemia in 1967. she was then 10 years old and i was 14. how i survived that without a mother by my side is an incredible story. my second sister is anna carmeli, from my father's marriage with my stepmother. i am 20 years older than her. carmeli is such a lovely, kind and charming sister. but my fate did not permit us to spend as much time as we'd like to while she was growing up. it was not our fault that we did not grow up together, but being a descendant of my father is enough for me to love her. in fact, we may not always see each other but we hold each other dear in our hearts, just like with Dong and my two other brothers Jojo and Jim.

what i meant with my opening statement was that in my journey from adolescence to adulthood, there was no other significant female to whom i can share all my life's pains and sorrows, triumphs and joys. i have a lot of friends and i also hold them dear, but i cannot get myself to unburden before them. i feel that all my baggages should not be their concerns. hence, in the darkest days and loneliest moments of my life, i chose to be alone. now, it's taking a toll in my health.

i am not envious, but i admire women who have that particular someone, another female, to whom they can turn to when they need someone to lean on. i have a very good friend and kumare who actually is at my beck and call. however, knowing she has insurmountable problems of her own prevents me from opening up to her ALL that i need to pour out. i'd rather that she lean on me than I on her.

my need for a sister is not only because i want a shock absorber. i like cooking, eating, malling and travelling and just chilling out especially on a rainy day. it would be doubly fun to do those things if a sister is around. i would like to feel how it is to borrow clothes, shoes, jewelries, etc. from a sister. i would like to experience how it is to quarrel and make-up later with her.

i really miss having a sister beside me, but God, in His infinite goodness, gifted me with a daughter with whom i can do what sisters usually do.

Buddy Ferrer

All the good in me, I got from my father.

I do not know of anyone in and out of our family circle who has ill feelings towards my father. I also do not know of anyone who has badmouthed him at any time in his life. All I remember are the praises of friends, neighbors and just about anyone who knew him.

In the army, he was called Buddy- a very appropriate name for he was such a buddy to everyone. Salvador Cuelana Ferrer was born in Ligao, Albay where he finished his elementary school. His life isn’t the type that would merit a movie or a teleserye. It was so simple yet well spent. He enlisted in the army, was assigned in Bulacan, fought in the Korean War in the 50’s, met and married my mother, had me, my brother Dong and my sister Connie. After only seven years of marriage, he lost my mother who died so young, leaving the three of us under his care, at the same time that he was in the military.

After ten years of being a widower, he remarried, had three more children, continued his military service until he retired and later was taken in as a very trusted employee by the family of the late Pres. RMagsaysay until his second retirement. Perhaps, it was his association with this distinguished family, having served as Mrs. Luz Banzon Magsaysay's close-in security for many, many years, which made him a very upright person and soldier. I saw how he respected all members of the Magsaysay family and how, in return, they all regarded him as family even until his death.

Tatay, as we called him, died of complications due to colon cancer. Just like a real soldier, he fought the Big C valiantly and surrendered only on April 9, 1999, the country’s Araw ng Kagitingan. This was exactly twelve days after my brother Jim's graduation from the PMA, a dream he nurtured for all his sons, but only became a reality with our youngest brother.

My father was born poor. He also died poor. For us, it was a great honor because he was in the military and his most productive years were under martial law. While other soldiers amassed wealth, he lived within his means. It is tempting to prefix the letters Hon. before his name, for he was such an honorable man, but since it’s used by many devious politicians and deceitful lawmakers, I had myself ruled by better judgment. Excuse me, my father is not a pig!

Tatay taught me many things. He brought home books and magazines for me to read. His gifts during my formative years consisted of subscriptions to the Free Press and Reader’s Digest, hardbound books and educational materials. Other kids my age then would not have been grateful, but I was ecstatic. We bonded through those reading materials. I developed a love for learning because my father loved to learn. What he knew from his own private readings and the lessons that life taught him deserved to be acknowledged as a college degree in itself.

He was physically present only on week-ends, yet, he was such an authority figure I could not ignore. Growing up without a mother, I had to be taught some “girl” things by my father. Before the school year opened in 1966, when I was about to enter my first year in high school, Tatay bought me my first deodorant, Veto. He said I should always be clean since I’ll be meeting so many other students. Later, he would bring me Revlon compact face powder, a real nice light blue bandanna and a black cap with flowerettes and sequins. Every year from my first birthday after getting married, till the last year before he died, I always received a piece of cloth for a vestida from him. There was nothing he gave me that I did not like, even if at the time they were given, I found no use for them.

Perhaps the best thing my father did for me was to visit me once a week without fail at my dormitory in UP during all of my five college years. I wonder if any other parent did that. He religiously did so even if I also go home to the province on week-ends. When I need something I could not provide myself, I will just call him at his employer’s place, and he will surely come and bring what I needed. When I get sick and confined at the university infirmary, he would come after being advised of my whereabouts. He tried and succeeded to be both father and mother to me. He was really one of God's perfect creations.

Tatay loved all my children and Dong’s children, too. Unfortunately, they spent very little time together because of some complications. But the love he had for his apos was very apparent in the glow of his face whenever he saw them. Just as he loved Dong and me, he also poured all the fatherly love he can give to Jojo, Carmeli and Jim. I remember one day in UP, while I was having a class, a staff of the Dean's office came up and summoned me, saying my father wanted to see me badly. When I went outside of the building, he saw me coming onto him and he started to cry, really cry. When I asked what the matter was, he, between sobs, related to me that Jojo, then still a little boy, was accidentally poured over with boiling water on his crib. Together, we went to the hospital to check on my little brother. Such love and care for all his children can only come from someone who had a depository of God's love in his being.

I will never, ever forget how Tatay received all my friends at home, offering whatever he can (like slices of pakwan) to make them feel welcome. I will never, ever forget that pair of blue sapphire earring, inside the box to which the card shown above is attached, that he gave me as a gift when I was still a young grade schooler. Even if it got lost somewhere, I vividly remember its shape (star) and the joy I felt while trying it on. I will never, ever forget the early Monday mornings when he prepared a hearty breakfast for me to take before going back to the university. I will never, ever forget each time that he would walk me to the bus or jeepney stop on my way back to school after spending the week-end at home. I will never, ever forget how, when we walk together, he would proudly tell whoever we encounter along the way that I passed the entrance exams at UP or that, later, I graduated from UP. I will never, ever forget how proud he was of me and what I have accomplished. My only regret is that I was not able to tell him or make him feel that I was and still am, so proud of him.

Tatay was the kindest person I knew. He had only good words for anybody. If he didn't want the company I or my brother kept, he would gently tell us to keep some distance between those people and us. When I decided to elope with my husband, all he did was to cry. He never threw a harsh word on us. When my marital troubles began to emerge, he did not say a word against my husband. Nothing. But I knew he was hurt too when he saw that I was. Up until his last days in his hospital bed, Tatay showed his refined, yet strong character despite his very painful bout with cancer.

I wanted to repay Tatay for all his kindness. The best way I could do that was to practice my profession- teaching. After all, he spent for my education from elementary to college. But I was faced with very limited choices later in life such that what would please him and myself will have to take a back seat. If he could see me now, domesticated and out of the academe, contrary to his wishes and our plans together in my younger years, I’m sure he will be displeased. For this I am very sorry. But Tatay is assured that in all of my undertakings, whether it is my choice or not, his good image will never be tainted. And most of all, he is assured that just like the way he raised me and my siblings, I also put my family, especially my children ahead of anything and anybody.

Monday, June 1, 2009

what's in a name

i wonder why unlike some people, i have had so many nicknames before such that when friends from different points of my life converge at one time to talk about me, chances are, they will be confused.

my father and my relatives who helped raised me as a child called me Saling. that's my official nickname- a derivative of my full first name, Rosalina. consequently my playmates and most of our neighbors called me by that nickname. but we had some sosyal neighbors in the early 60's who called me Sally. and i responded well to them, too. that was a nice nickname, anyway. when i entered high school, i introduced myself as Sally to my newfound friends. towards the end of our first year in high school, my best friend pearlie started calling me Rochie. according to her, i have similarities with a certain rochie andres who was due to graduate that year. the name stuck so when i went to UP for college, i was known as rochie in the academe but was called saling at home. however, my Filipino group in college preferred to call me Saling instead of Rochie so when they ask for my whereabouts from my dorm mates, there was some sort of confusion. at st. mary's academy, most of my colleagues, who were younger, affixed the word Ate, hence, my new name has becomeAt e Saling ( a sign of old age slowly creeping in).

perhaps behind my back, my enemies or those who do not like me for no reason at all, have called me by some other nicknames. that's a possibility because i do that too, - i baptize people i dislike with names they probably will hate. hehehe!

but the name i love the most is the name Leng. only two people call me such- my late father and my husband, whom i call Ding. our nicknames for each other rhyme. maybe it's the sign that we are stuck with each other, no matter what.

of mothers and daughters

they say all mothers are daughters first. hence, they know what love means on the both sides of the fence.

i am an exception to the rule. i may now be an expert on loving my children, but i never had an idea of how i was loved by my mother. no, it's not that she had her shortcomings. it was more because she died very early at the age of 24 when i was just 6 years old. my memories of her were very hazy and blurred. i just knew she had those crippling headaches and one day, she was dead. i do not know if it was a blessing that i grew up never hearing a mother's daily irritating chants that my friends used to tell me. i got used to dressing up all by my lonesome self when i was already of school age. there was no one to bring me to school nor was there that someone who buys all my school needs. i had no one to hold my hand or kiss me goodbye before i walk the few meters from home to school. despite all these, i survived. the greater part of my survival was because i had a great father, the one who shaped and molded me into a person that i was before i married the man who would later change me into the person i am now. ( my father deserves a nice blog, so i won't mention him here anymore.)

there is no use wondering what kind of a mother mine could have been had she been blessed with a longer life. one thing is sure, though, i probably would love her the way my daughter timmy loves me now had we been blessed with longer years together. as it is, and i ask for forgiveness for this, my love for my mother is that kind of "built-in" love that all children should have for their mothers. ashamed as i am, i have to admit that because i did not know her that much, my love for her is not as deep as every child's love for a mother should be. i guess this will remain as one of the things i won't have knowledge of throughout my lifetime- a mother's love. maybe her brand of 'mothering' is totally different from mine, but i will never ever know the difference. despite her early demise, i still thank God that it happened at a time when i was still innocent and young. As such, i didn't have the capacity to tell the difference of living with and living without a mother.

i hope there is another time and space given us mortals beyond this life so that what we missed early on in our lives, we still can catch up with later. it would be nice if somewhere, sometime, my mother and i can have some coffee and cookies in a place similar to starbucks. it wouldn't just be one cup for each of us. i have a lot to tell her- a lifetime, actually.

In picture above is my mother, Milagros Domingo Ferrer in a borrowed wedding gown. Reliable sources told me that this was taken a few weeks before she died on November 5, 1959. I was 6 years and two months old at the time. They said she was so keen on having a solo picture of her dressed in a wedding gown. Since a neighbor has just gotten married then, she borrowed it and went to a nearby studio where the picture was taken.